Miami Northwestern girls have a date with history at this weekend’s Florida High School Track and Field State Championships in Bradenton.READ MORE: Activists Say Hundreds Of Cuban Protesters Have Been Arrested Since Anti-Regime Demonstrations Broke Out
The powerhouse won the Region 4-3A girls crown by nearly 100 points and are looking to win an eighth straight 3A state championship.
If the Lady Bulls defend their state title, which they are favored to do by more than 100 points, they would tie the record streak of St. Thomas Aquinas (1998-2005) that featured Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross. The Lady Bulls have finished as eight state champion of state runner-up 17 of the last 18 years.
The Lady Bulls won the region crown with 214 points. Northeast was runner-up with 98.
Buoyed by talent and depth, Northwestern was led by winners junior Twanisha Terry in the sprints, hurdler Timetria Mitchell in the 100 hurdles, De’andreah Young in the 300 hurdles, Briana Eskridge in the triple and high jumps, Taranique Alexander in the long jump, Kaylah Clark in the shot put and three strong winning relays.
The Lady Bulls posted the fastest times of the weekend in the relays.
Host Blanche Ely won the boys’ team title with 118 points ahead of Northwestern with 71.5 and Belen Jesuit with 51 points.
Ely won the 4×800 relay with freshman Sueil Foucha and seniors James Walker, Syvenson and Roderic Wilson in 8:02.11.
Ely also won the high jump with Jacee Simon (6-6), 200 with University of Cincinnati football-bound Thomas Geddis (21.54). Wilson, the relay anchor, was also second in the 800 in 1:56.57.
The Northeast Hurricanes won their showdown with Dillard in the 4×100 relay, 41.20-41.21. The Hurricanes nationally-ranked hurdler Damion Thomas won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.42.
Northwestern sophomore Nigel Bethel won the 100 in 10.80 ahead of Ely senior Arthur Forrest in 10.88.
The top four finishers in each event from each region meet qualified for this weekend’s state meet.
The FHSAA will try a new format and new venue for the state track meets. IMG Academy in Bradenton will host the meet that will feature four classes over two days instead of two weekends.
American High freshman sensation Tyrese Cooper is ready to make a statement at the state meet where he will be the only track athlete from his school to compete in individual events. The sprinter swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races against stacked fields at Tropical Park. He also anchored the runner-up 1,600-meter relay.
St. Thomas Aquinas won the boys team title for the third consecutive year with 91 points and qualified seven boys. Columbus was runner-up with 59 points. Miami Southridge clinched the girls’ team title over defending champion St. Thomas Aquinas on the final event, the 1,600-meter relay. Junior Symone Mason anchored the relay leg bringing her team from third to first. Southridge won 130-127.50. Mason also won the 200 and 400.
Douglas captured the girls’ team title with 79 points and was third in the boys’ competition with 58 points.
Coral Springs senior Kimarley Carby won the boys 100 race in 10.91 and anchored the 4×100 relay that won in 42.43 with teammates Nathaniel Stubbs, Goavz Pierre-Louis and Tyrus Knighton.
Coral Springs freshman Kaci Thomas won the pole vault with an 8-foot height. Douglas senior Drew Diaz won the boys pole vault (12-foot).
Taravella senior Marlon Ellis won the long jump (21-4) and triple jump (44-3.75). Monarch junior Sophia Gustely won the discus (134-7).
The field featured mainly Palm Beach County schools.
American Heritage captured the boys’ team title by five points, 70-65, ahead of Satellite. Calvary Christian was third with 57, Coconut Creek fifth with 39 and defending state champion Hallandale was sixth with 36. Rockledge won the girls’ team title with 89.50 followed by defending state champion Hallandale with 74 and Ransom Everglades with 52.33.
American Heritage sophomore Anthony Schwartz ran 10.26 in the 100 and 20.76 in the 200 and anchored the 400-meter relay (41.42) and 1,600-meter relays (3:15.99).
Stranahan freshman Monte Parker won the 400 in 49.12.
Miami Jackson junior Tiara McMinn swept the hurdles, winning the 100 hurdles in 13.91 and 300 hurdles in 43.19.
Gulliver Prep eighth grader Natalie Varela swept the 1600 (5:03.60) and 3200 (10:57.85) races.
On his final jump and sitting in second place, Pine Crest sophomore Tony Bridges won the triple jump for the second year in a row with a school record 47-10 ½, the top distance in the state. He broke one of Pine Crest’s oldest records set in 1985 by Walter Haynie (47-3).
Pine Crest senior Nyla Lindo broke the triple jump school record with an opening jump of 38-0, a career-best by more than a foot, and second place finish. She is ranked third going into the state finals. She was also second in the high jump (5-2) to qualify for her fifth state meet in a row.
Pine Crest broke another school record in the 3,200-meter relay in 9:29.54 with Julia Montgomery, Amanda Schwartz, Simone Vreeland and Tsion Yared. The previous record was 9:31.02 set in 2014.
Highlands Christian knocked off two-time defending state and three-time region champion Westminster Academy 113-88 to win the boys team title.
Defending champion South Florida HEAT won the girls title for the third consecutive year with 133 points followed by Westminster Christian with 98.50.
The Knights qualified seven boys in nearly every event including sophomore distance runner Ryan Szklany, who swept the 1,600 and 3,200 events.
Junior Sara Carroll of Highlands Christian won four events including the 100-meter hurdles in 15.53 for the third straight year.MORE NEWS: Teen's Death Investigation Continues After No Hazardous Materials Found In West Park Home
South Florida HEAT, buoyed by depth, is sending 10 athletes to state. The HEAT won the 3,200-meter relay, its only win of the meet against a talented small school field.